Prior to his win on Saturday night in Nashville, Glover Teixeira had somehow become an afterthought when looking at the top five fighters in the light heavyweight divisional rankings.
Despite an undefeated streak that lasted for 20 wins over seven years, it was two losses in a row that had Teixeira facing an uncertain future before dispatching Ovince Saint Preux in his most recent fight in Tennessee.
Teixeira denies that he was feeling any undue pressure going into the bout although it was impossible to ignore the dire consequences if he lost three fights in a row. The truth of the matter according to Teixeira is he lost to arguably the greatest fighter of all time in Jon Jones and then got outwrestled by Phil Davis for three rounds following the worst weight cut of his career.
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"I don't put much pressure on myself. I'm strong mentally, things happen, I'm not fighting pushovers," Teixeira said following his fight on Saturday. "The pressure was to show what I'm capable (of), show the best I can be and not show up like I did in the last fight. I could make excuses for the last fight, but the weight cut was horrible."
Teixeira denies that he entered the night under any kind of 'do or die' circumstances, but instead just wanted to get back in the win column so he could resume his pursuit of the title.
Teixeira was the top-ranked contender just over a year ago and he wants to reclaim that spot. Getting a submission victory over Saint Preux was a great first step.
"I always have something to prove. I have a dream to be champion and my dream is not thrown in the water because I had a little slide," Teixeira said. "I told OSP today, he fought the best I've ever been. I'm in the best shape in my life. I feel better for this fight than ever.
"I'm in better shape fight now than I was for the (Jon) Jones fight and I was in pretty good shape for that fight."
Now that he's broken the losing streak and picked up a win over a very dangerous top-10 light heavyweight, Teixeira is eyeing the best fighters in the world at 205 pounds.
In order to get in line for a title shot, Teixeira will probably have to fight and win at least once or twice more before he can end up in champion Daniel Cormier's peripheral vision, but he's not going anywhere so time is on his side.
Teixeira just wanted to send a reminder to everyone in the division that he's still just as lethal as ever and those two recent losses will not define his career going forward.
"With the division the way it is right now, when you mention the top contenders, you're going to have to mention my name," Teixeira said. "I'm there and we'll see what the organization does. I'm prepared and I'll show my best every time."